THE Australian Vaccination Network's scheduled appearance at the popular Woodford Folk Festival has been met with strong opposition from an influential women's website.
Bangalow-based AVN founder Meryl Dorey was invited to speak at this month's Queensland festival to present her views in a talk on autism in children.
Mrs Dorey's participation was criticised by the popular blog, www.mamamia.com.au, run by the former editor of Cleo and Cosmopolitan, Mia Freedman.
Ms Freedman condemned the move through social media sites and the Mamamia website, which is frequented by mothers.
Mamamia news editor Rick Morton said the site was trying to raise awareness about the dangers of not vaccinating.
"When talking about vaccines or stuff that is a threat to public health, we don't think she should get a public platform funded by the government to preach that," Mr Morton said.
"It's downright dangerous to put views out there to the general public that are lies and downright inaccurate."
Mr Morton also accused Ms Dorey of pretending to be something she was not (an "expert") and of being a "threat to public health."
Yesterday, Queensland Health Minister Geoff Wilson stepped in.
"Fortunately there are enough wonderful things to do at Woodford that patrons have plenty of alternatives rather than sitting through the nonsense Meryl Dorey spouts," Mr Wilson said.
Ms Dorey said in a democracy, the only threat was someone trying to stifle public debate.
"If we trust people to make decisions about their own health, someone giving out information to balance a deficit in data can't possibly be a danger unless the people themselves are thought to be too stupid to make their own choices and surely Mamamia wouldn't be saying that," she said.
"I have never claimed to be anything other than the mother of a vaccine-injured child who has spent over 20 years researching the science behind vaccine safety and effectiveness.
"And whilst people are being injured every day from vaccines and contracting illnesses they were fully vaccinated against, it seems a bit rich to be trying to tell parents that they should not question this medical procedure."
What do you think about the vaccination debate? Leave a comment below.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.